Author Chris Czajkowski vividly remembers the day she first saw mountainous terrain.
“I was so enthralled by it,” said Czajkowski, who was a young child at the time. “It stuck in my mind so much. I don’t know why I was enthralled by it.”
From that point onwards, Czajkowski found herself searching for mountains and relentlessly studying maps.
“As I grew older I was always searching for mountain areas and I also loved maps,” she said.
Her love for the mountains would eventually take her to a remote area near Nimpo Lake, B.C.
“I have never lived in a town or a city,” she said. “I grew up on the edge of a village and my playground was woods and fields behind me and I would never see a soul, but I was always fascinated by the creatures that lived there and the plants.”
On Friday (Oct. 10) Czajkowski will be at the Harbourfront Library, where she will be sharing her stories of living in the wilderness and her new book, And The River Still Sings: A Wilderness Dweller’s Journey, which was published by Caitlin Press this past August. The book touches on her lifestyle at Nimpo Lake and her travels around the world.
“It goes through some of my travels and of course the largest part is about my wilderness experiences,” Czajkowski said about the book.
Czajkowski was born and raised in the United Kingdom. After teaching at a farm Uganda in her early 20s, Czajkowski decided to hitchhike around the world.
“I looked at maps and talked to people and headed in that direction,” she said about her travels. “They put me in one direction and I thought I’ll try this … it’s just loosely following things that landed in my lap.”
She eventually landed in British Columbia’s Chilcotin Mountains and has lived a remote lifestyle for decades. She explained that even when she lived in the United Kingdom, she had always wanted to end up in Canada.
“I had always wanted to come to Canada,” she said.
Since becoming an author in the 1980s, Czajkowski has released a number of books that touch on her life living a remote lifestyle.
“People are always saying, ‘Why do you live like that?” but to me it seems like a very logical way to live,” she said. “Maybe this book will explain it a little bit.”
Her books include Cabin at Singing River: One Woman’s Story of Building a Home in the Wilderness and Nuk Tessli: The Life of a Wilderness Dweller.